Stop, Look, and Listen

Northern Cardinal“Gramma, look! A red bird!”

It was exciting for my 6 y.o. ‘Spanish’ granddaughter to see her first North Carolinian cardinal.

I was happy with her, and I wanted to tell her this story.


Back a long time ago, when I was a student at MacArthur High School in Texas, each Friday morning in the fall, all the students and teachers would assemble in the gym for a Pep Rally.

Not ‘pet’ rally. No animals.

Pep means energy. Liveliness. Enthusiasm.

Like peppy grandchildren.

So at my high school we rallied together in the gym to build up our ‘pep’ for the Friday night football game.

The football team guys – all stiff and serious-looking – would file onto the floor, with their white shirts and red ties, and the cheerleaders – all cute and popular-looking – would come in, flipping and jumping, in their red and white pleated skirts, and the rest of us – all kinds of us, sitting in the wooden bleachers – would hoot and holler and cheer.

The idea was to ‘get peppy’, enthusiastic by practicing the cheers that we would yell at the football stadium that night.

Even if you didn’t really like to watch football, like me, still it was fun to learn the school cheers and go to the game with your friends.

So, our team’s mascot was a cardinal.

That means our school colors were red and white, like the cardinal bird, and we had cheers like this one:

Stop, look and listen, here come the mighty Cardinals.

Stop, look and listen, here come the mighty Cardinals.

We were The Mighty Cardinals.

Isn’t that silly?

Does that bird look ‘mighty’?

No, but we jumped and cheered like we were big and strong and it is fun to remember this cheer.

It inspires me, actually.


This is the first week of a rare Wetzel family reunion month.

Nine adults and six girls are coming and going, hanging out together, doing the summer fun stuff.

It is good fun, yes. For sure.

But may I be honest here? It is also tiring and chaotic and I don’t do chaos so well.

I am a little anxious about all these meals and the noise and hullabaloo and group decision-making and girl drama and dirty floors.

I might get grumpy.

Just maybe.

So these simple words from that old cheer, stop, look, and listen, have cheered me.

This month, I want to stop often, look to God and listen to Him.

I want to stop worrying and stop my motherly do-do-doing (controlling?), so I can look, really look at each face, and listen to their chatter and stories and help them to pay attention to the sounds of the birds, the wind in the trees, the water over rocks, and to God’s voice.

Especially to God’s voice.

I guess what I am saying, putting it out here all public-like, is that I have one main goal for this ‘peppy’ month:  I want to love each person like God loves us, stopping (stooping!), looking, really seeing, and listening to us, accepting us just as we are.

I know I will fail but God will not.

And His little cardinals will remind me that it is simple.

Just stop, look, and listen.










11 thoughts on “Stop, Look, and Listen

  1. Another meaningful lesson through God’s creation AND HIS creative gift to you!
    Praying for your strength and stamina!!


  2. Oh my Sarah how totally true🙏🏽
    I love when we’re all together but oh the utter chaos. I too want to Stop, Look and Listen. We’re taking all 4 grandkids for a week to the beach. Sand, Sun and Wet. Oh my! Thanks for the encouragement💖

    Liked by 1 person

  3. G-O, G-O, G-O, Go Go, Let’s go!
    G-O, G-O, G-O, Go Go, Let’s go!
    Another cheer from High School years. Cheering you on to victory, as you stop, look, and listen. Standing on the side lines watching you on the journey with celebration.


  4. That will be a special time Sarah all the family together although I can totally appreciate all the work that will be involved in keeping everyone watered and fed throughout the week. Don’t be afraid to delegate so that you can have some time to enjoy your precious family. All the different personalities can be exhausting at times especially when you throw in the different ages of the grandchildren, it isn’t easy for sure, but isn’t it an amazing blessing that we have such wonderful children, son in laws, grandchildren, so much to be grateful for and enjoyed. So relax and enjoy the Wetzel gathering 😘


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